Video Game / Front Mission

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A marriage between Cool and (relatively) Realistic. More or less the franchise in a nutshell.

Square Enix's chief Humongous Mecha franchise, Front Mission throws readers and players into gritty Real Robot stories, in which conglomerate nations from Twenty Minutes into the Future fight for power and political control, using armies of Wanzers (short for "Wanderung Panzers" — loosely translated from German for "walking tanks").

So, what sets it apart from other mecha series? For starters, the action comes as Turn-Based Strategy (largely unheard of in the mecha fandom, upon the game's first release in 1995, save for Super Robot Wars). The franchise is also known, for applying as much realism as possible, within the genre: Both Easy Logistics and Critical Existence Failure, are generally subverted; Wanzers are easily destroyed machines, that require extensive teamwork; And of course, as any fanboy of the series will tell you, the stories are heavily packed with Realpolitik.

With regards to the games, the series currently consists of five mainline titles and six offshoots:

  • Front Mission (1995, Super Famicom) (2002, Wonderswan).
    • Re-released as Front Mission: 1st for the PlayStation in 2003, and Nintendo DS in 2007. The DS version was the only one to get a localized release.
  • Front Mission: Gun Hazard (1996, SFC) - A side-scrolling action spin-off.
  • Front Mission 2 (1997, PS1)
  • Front Mission: Alternative (1997, PS1) - An RTS spin-off.
  • Front Mission 3 (1999, PS1) - First in the series to get a localized release.
  • Front Mission: History (2003, PS) - A box set which includes, the first three games in the mainline series.
  • Front Mission 4 (2003, PS2) - Second in the series to get a localized release.
  • Front Mission 2089 (2005, Mobile)
    • Released as Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness for the Nintendo DS in 2008.
  • Front Mission: Online (2005, PS2/PC) - MMO spinoff that was discontinued in 2008.
  • Front Mission 5: Scars of the War (2005, PS2) - Unlike 3 and 4, this was released only in Japan.
  • Front Mission 2089 II (2006, Mobile)
  • Front Mission Evolved (2010, PS3/Xbox 360/PC) - Third person shooter spinoff by Double Helix.

The series is known for regularly venturing into other genres. Gun Hazard is a side-scrolling shooter developed by the lead designer of Assault Suits Valken. Front Mission: Alternative ventures into real-time strategy (RTS). Front Mission: Online is the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) game and the first third-person shooter (TPS) for the PS2 and PC. Lastly, Front Mission Evolved, another TPS spinoff, was released on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC. Only a handful of titles have made it outside Japan, as the majority of the series (including two mainline entries) remain Japan-only.

Games aren't the only things Front Mission is noted for. Though virtually unknown to the Western world thanks to Square's mishandling of its overseas marketing (only some of the games were localized), the franchise has a large media presence in Japan, including mangas, novels, radio dramas, and even live-action films. In fact, these other Front Mission works are linked to the video games so closely that they are necessary for completely understanding the stories. The most successful of these products are the manga and novels, which are perennial top-sellers in the mature/adult age bracket in Japan.

There is a character page desperately in need of work.


This franchise provides examples of:

  • Absurdly High Level Cap:
    • In 2089 and 1st, the maximum Job Level is 48... requiring 9,999 EXP in one of the four Job classes: Melee, Short, Long, and Dodge. Any EXP gained in these Job classes influences Pilot Level. Pilot Level maxes out at Level 50, requiring 37,500 EXP to reach.
    • 2: The maximum Job Level is 30. 14,815 EXP is needed to max out either Fight, Short, or Long Job classes.
    • 3: There are 25 levels for Weapon Rank, going from "A" to "A+" to "A++" and so on. Going from a Weapon Rank of "A" to "S", the highest level, requires 13,199 EXP.
  • Ace Custom: 5 allows you to upgrade your wanzer parts, which enables them to change into other types if they reach a certain level. Also, since you can mix-and-match any wanzer part as long as they fulfill energy and weight requirements, it's easy to make plenty of these. Bosses tend to show up in souped-up wanzers too.
    • 5 also lets players recreate some of the Ace Customs from previous games, albeit not perfectly, such as the Raven and Gepard, through mix-and-matching and Survival Simulator grinding.
  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload: There's a fair bit of these, which isn't very surprising given all the nations and their military units.
    • USN/UCS for United States of the New Continent / Unified Continental States, which has the FAI: Federal Agency of Intelligence. There's also SOCOM, for Special Operations Command, though this one is from real life.
    • OCU for the Oceania Cooperative Union, which has the CIU for Central Intelligence Unit.
    • DHZ for the People's Republic of Da Han Zhong.
    • EC for the European Commonwealth.
    • OAC for the Organization of African Consolidation.
    • Other sorts of acronyms show up too, namely for several technologies.
      • ATLAS being the Astro Tribune Laser Accumulate System.
      • BD being the Bioneural Device.
      • MIDAS being one of two things: Mass Interparticle Dissociation Antiproton Synthesizer for the original anti-matter version, and Matter Irradiation Dissociative Acceleration System for the portable radiation derivative.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: The original SFC/WS version of 1st lets player sell items for 75% of their actual values, whereas the remake has you selling them for... only 25%. This leads you to a miserly scenario in which you simply cannot afford new equipment for every single unit you have, as the parts salvaged in missions are generally inferior to what you may already be using, and the only other ways to earn money are completing missions or competing in arena battles.
  • Amazon Brigade: Three out of the four members of the Apollo's Chariot from Evolved are women. It does make you wonder if Marcus uses the girls for "bedroom duty"...
    • With the exception of Walter Feng, 5's pilot management system makes it possible to assemble an all-girl squad.
  • Anachronic Order: you have to read every game manual (and in the cases of 2 and 3, the in-game Network too) to fully understand the history.
  • Armored Coffins: The Vampires from the 2089 games - a black ops branch of the B-Organization - have their wanzers set for complete destruction upon defeat, to cover any trace of their relations to their employer.
  • Artificial Human: The Real and Imaginary Numbers in 3.
  • Attack Drone: Gun Hazard has "Wireless Gunpod" weapons. The "Save the Queen" laser drones used by the Strike Eagles in Dog Life & Dog Style also count.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: 5 gives us weapons that allow users to attack three times in one round. Sounds sweet... until you realize how horrendous their accuracies are. About the only ones worth using are the melee weapons, since they're actually stronger in terms of raw power.
  • Ax-Crazy: Evolved really takes the cake with this one, with four out of five main villains being more or less utterly insane: Cornelius Werner is an E.D.G.E. addict who seeks to dissolve all borders and frequently torments Adela Seawell; Gloria Leguizamo lives for war and appears to be aroused by the thought of fighting; Pia Simpson likes to gesticulate inside her cockpit as if she's conducting a symphony while blowing stuff up a la V for Vendetta; and Megan Chamberlain worships Valkyries. Not the most stable bunch.
    • Gun Hazard also graces us with worthy contenders for the title, notably Colonel Ark Hellbrand and Bishop the Berserker.
    • Serov Warren from 3 probably counts as well, considering that he attacks his own allies in a fit of madness. In his case, it is justified, however: He's a flawed Imaginary Number.
    • Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov from 4 shows some signs of this as well. Anyone who doubts her (mild) insanity should watch how she decimates USN forces in her Zhuk mobile weapon while laughing in her cockpit and refers to the said mobile weapon as her "toy." Bar these quirks, she is a fairly competent colonel, so she's more of a downplayed example.
    • Interestingly, Morgan Bernard from 5 subverts this. Given what he is, many would expect him to play this trope straight. Well... HE DOES NOT.
    • Shin Tsuneki from Dog Life & Dog Style definitely is, which isn't really a surprise given that he is an experimental subject of BD technology research.
  • Badass: Anyone who's ever played any of the games or gotten into the other media should know very well that you have to be one if you want to survive given how the state of the world is like.
    • Badass Crew: Every group that the main protagonists join is or ends up as this.
      • The IMAC (Alternative) was apparently tough enough to be one of the world's only forces to be given WAW units, the most state-of-the-art technology of their era.
      • Online also has Chasm Owls and Proud Eagles.
      • The Storm Unit (2089) and the Chariots (2089-II) fight the Vampires. Both groups defeat the latter regularly, though not without some rough battles.
      • And of course... we have the legendary Canyon Crows (1st). Sure, the USN can boast about the Hell's Wall all they want, but at the end of the day, the crows just blow them into bits and march straight into Freedom City anyway.
      • The Silver Lynxes (1st) are pretty awesome. See the Awesome page for some details.
      • The unified Burg Transportation force (2) consists of the Muddy Otters, Dull Stags, and OCU GDFIA 2nd Division. Yeah, this group fights mobile fortresses twice and saves Alordesh from being blown up by nuclear missiles.
      • Kazuki's True Companions (3) eventually grows into this over the course of their stories. Both campaigns, no less.
      • 4 brings us the Durandal, who research military uses of wanzers, and use their knowledge to stop a world war; and La Alianza de Libertad Venezolana, who, despite subpar equipment, manage to force Zaftrans to retreat from Venezuela.
      • Lastly, in 5 we have the Strike Wyverns and especially the Barghest.
      • Another noteworthy example is the Akatsuki Unit from The Drive. They are able to dispatch a mobile weapon and rout an USN force several times their size through sheer teamwork, for starters. Their impact on readers is particularly strong, since the manga holds nothing back in the way of mature content.
    • Badass Normal: Walter Feng from 5 counts. Though the Grimnir are all pilots using BD S-Type devices to control their wanzers like their own bodies (making them Super Soldiers), Walter is able to beat them simply through hard work... after he trains with the Barghest's own S-Type pilots for years. Your squad as a whole can count if you have no S-Type pilots in it, except for Hector Reynolds, who's badass enough anyway.
      • In fact, most of the main protagonists are this trope to some degree.
      • Royd Clive from 1st sports no such flashy "upgrades" as BD Devices, but still kicks Driscoll's butt, multiple times, even when the latter goes for the Mir Orlen.
      • Ash Faruk, Thomas Norland and Lisa Stanley from 2 are also good examples. This is true even after Lisa gets the final Raven, considering this version doesn't rely on BD technology to have maximum combat performance.
      • Lira Labra from 2 is a young lady barely out of her adolescence... and on multiple occasions, she fights the Revolutionary Army along with Burg Transportation forces. In a Zenith, to be exact. Nobody bats an eyelid about it.
      • Kazuki Takemura and Ryogo Kusama from 3 are this without a doubt. Though they seem to be ordinary young adults at the beginning of their story, they somehow manages to keep up with all the military personnel they meet, all of whom are far more experienced in combat than they are. Oh, they take on the Real and Imaginary Numbers, and WIN.
      • Darril Traubel and Elsa Eliane from 4 can be considered this. In the case of Darril, he is, as 5 shows, actually better than most of the augmented humans. Of course, if this is any indication, he is at least on par with Walter Feng...
  • Band of Brothers: Many of the military units in the series play this, but the Durandal is in particular notable, despite technically not being military.
  • BFG: Intermittently played straight in Gun Hazard. Your most likely candidates in the core games include missile sites, aerial bombardments and other called-from-offscreen or cutscene-restricted displays of conventional military firepower.
    • Played straight to a somewhat ridiculous level with Evolved's bazooka weaponry. It resembles nothing so much as an enormous sewer pipe with a grip, and has the ability to destroy anyone unfortunate enough to be at the open end. Naturally, the more dangerous enemy units tend to carry it.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Kazuki Takemura and Emir "Emma" Klamsky to Alisa Klamsky in 3.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the climax of the final arc of 5, the Barghest are outnumbered, fighting a losing battle against the Grimnir's superior numbers. Things are looking bad... then Lynn leads the Strike Wyverns in a airdrop, bringing Death from Above and turning the tide of the battle.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The franchise has a thing for this trope, and is pretty good at it too.
    • 1st: Sure, the Canyon Crows expose a plot to make wanzer control devices from the brains of kidnapped soldiers, called the B-Type Device. Problem is, they are now wanted terrorists. Factions from the OCU and the USN, as well as Zaftra's PMO, all control Huffman Island, and are sending assassins after them. Further compounded as shown in Kevin Greenfield's story, in which the deaths of Driscoll and the Sakata Industries bigwigs throw a wrench into the court martial of Patrick S. Winger.
    • 2: The People's Republic of Alordesh has earned the independence its people hunger for, but thousands of Alordeshi civilians and soldiers had to pay for it with their lives. As in the case of the crows, the OCU is now hunting down Ash and his buddies, for having played a vital part in foiling the plan to test the FENRIR.
    • Emma's campaign in 3: Kazuki Takemura manages to stop Lukav Minaev's plan, but his father Isao was killed and Alisa stayed behind to get rid of the MIDAS for good. At least he, along with the rest of the gang, arrive at the USN Assembly Building in time to tell the truth of the MIDAS incident to the whole world....
    • 5: Morgan Bernard is (supposedly) gone, but Walter has lost two of his childhood best friends. He was happily married to Lynn... before she died from S-Type device complications. Also, the miniaturized MIDAS was stolen, which kickstarts 3.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Well... for the most part, the series's stories revolve around the struggles between Hired Guns with sociopathic tendencies, Corrupt Politicians who'd sacrifice millions of civilians for power, and Western Terrorists who commit mass murders. You get the idea.
  • Black Best Friend: Joynas Jeriaska (J.J.) from 1st, who's Keith Carabell's best friend.
    • Edward Collins in 5 attempts to invoke this. It doesn't really take, though Walter Feng still likes his old friend. Lynn Wenright finds Edward completely annoying.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Partly averted. The shoulder weapons have limited ammo, but handheld firearms such as machine guns, rifles and bazookas do not. Possibly Lampshade Hanging, in that the ammo listing for these weapons is often a permanent 99/99.
    • Fully subverted in 2 (and later, 4, Online and Evolved), where all weapons but the melee ones have limited ammo. Very limited, in the case of some of the more powerful items.
  • Boring but Practical:
    • Shotguns are generally this, with a combination of decent damage outputs, range (though less than machine guns and rifles) and low AP cost, making them quite cost-effective, if a bit boring. That said, many late game shotguns are Simple Yet Awesome (see below).
    • Shields, especially in 3.
      • Shields have no offensive capability (unless the pilot has the appropriate skills), limited uses before breaking, and when used, means your wanzer will be suffering damage to that arm. They certainly won't be dishing out the same amount of damage as a wanzer with double weapons. But, they are also fairly light, greatly reduce damage taken, and will ensure your much more vital legs, body, and weapon arm survive longer.
      • They are so effective in 3, that on gaming message boards, the oft-suggested build for most pilots, is their weapon they are the best at and a shield. The only exception to this is Kazuki, given his Hybrid Assault focus on shotgun and melee, and even then, a shield paired with a shotgun or melee weapon isn't out of the question for him.
  • Brain–Computer Interface: One of the recurrent themes of the franchise. BD technology including S-Type, Puppet Soldier, and Doll Eye are all part of it.
  • Broken Hero: Another trope that the franchise loves. In general, this is only implied in the games, but the other media often elaborate further. Many of the protagonists suffer from PTSD and other aftermaths of the horrors they have endured. A few go beyond this. Some of the most noteworthy contestants include:
    • Royd Clive from 1st. In the ending of his original story, he gives off hints that he isn't very right in the head. The other media show that he has been a real headcase since he was discharged from the army after the Larcus Incident. Not only did he have PTSD, but he also suffered from outbursts of rage, alcohol and drug abuse, and was at a point suicidal. Though he does put on a happy face after what occurs in Longrivers Island, his sanity doesn't last as Morgan Bernard plays into his grievance. By the time Rocky Armitage sees him during the Alordesh coup, he is little more than a globalist-hating mass murderer, so Rocky has to kill him.
      • His story is sad even by this series' standards. And that's saying something.
    • Elsa Eliane from 4. Over the course of the EC crisis, she increasingly shows signs of this. After the crisis ends, she mentally cracks and couldn't stay on the Durandal. She ends up addicted to antidepressants. Thankfully, her meeting with Darril helps.
    • Darril Traubel from 4. Though his departure from Port Cumana seemed rather sweet, the other media show that after fixing the mess with him going AWOL in the USN Army, Darril has a hard time readjusting to civilian life. He ends up blowing most of his cash on alcohol and struggles to find a reason to keep going. It is only when Elsa asks to meet him in-person that his life starts to change for the better.
  • Bowdlerise: In the SNES version of Front Mission, there is a wanzer model named "Fagot" (which means "a bundle of sticks"). It is renamed "Flugel" in the NDS remake.
  • Call Back: Glen Duval disables Lynn Wenright's wanzer in Cambodia using a specialized EMP grenade designed to combat S-Type users. Walter Feng returns the favor, years later, when they meet again in Alaska.
  • Catch Phrase: There are several of them.
    • Royd Clive's response to the request to join the Canyon Crows is always "Do what you want."
    • Morgan Bernard's "Globalist dogs", which he says every time he appears in the games to, you guessed it, the globalists. It includes anyone who doesn't actively support nationalism, such as Dr. Aisha Romariov (2089), Lisa Stanley (2), and Walter Feng (5).
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Happens in 5. Late reinforcements during the Cambodian base defense mission lead to Walter Feng Taking the Bullet for Lynn Wenright and nearly dying from it.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Oh, boy... there're so many of them it's impossible to list them all. But it sure as hell won't stop us from trying. From the games alone, we have:
    • Lycov appears in 2. Lisa Stanley meets Lycov during the coup a few times to set up a meeting, where she ends up receiving the final Raven model. Lycov is formally introduced in 2089.
    • Masao Sasaki in 2. One of the news updates in the in-universe internet mentions violent pro-nationalist demonstrations in OCU Japan and that a certain "Masao Sasaki" had been arrested for starting them. Sasaki is formally introduced in 3, as a key antagonist.
    • Morgan Bernard in 2 and 4. In 2, he shows up via a proxy, and acts as the story's final villain. In 4, he is referred to by Zead Elger as a terrorist behind a major hostage crisis in EC Germany back in the latter's British Army days. Morgan Bernard is formally introduced in 5, in which he is the main antagonist.
    • Walter Feng and Hector Reynolds in 2. A soldier clad in black piloting gear and inside a black USN wanzer with the call sign "Black 6" radios the commander, "Black 1," about being attacked by Burg Transportation forces and ceasing covert operations. Formally introduced in 5.
    • Glen Duval in 2. During the battle against the Canyon Crows, Royd Clive references Glen as a contact who can help him out against the Dull Stags. Glen is formally introduced in 5, in which he's The Dragon.
    • Darril Traubel and Billy Renges in the PS1 remake of 1st, as the two soldiers seen to depart on an USN peacekeeping mission led by Kevin Greenfield. Formally introduced in 4.
    • From the perspective of the storyline's chronology:
      • Albert Masel and Serena Sana from 2089. Formally introduced in 2089-II.
      • Ellen Taylor and Yuji Kinoshita from 2089. Formally introduced in Online.
      • Thomas Norland from 2089. Formally introduced in 2.
      • Karen Meure from 2089-II. Formally introduced in 1st.
      • Lynn Wenright from 1st. Formally introduced in 5.
      • Marcus Allen from Online. Formally introduced in 3.
    • Of course, there're also the non-game media to consider. For instance...
      • Rocky Armitage. He shows up first in the Front Line Report novel. There, he was assigned to pursue Royd Clive, who was by then a terrorist fighting against the supernations. Rocky later appears in 2 as a member of the Dull Stags, alongside Thomas Norland and Roswell Tarana. Oh, and in the said game, he's tasked with pursuing the now full-on mass-murderer Royd and ends up killing our beloved Huffman Hero.
      • Sayuri Mitsuzuka. She first appears in the Front Line Report novel, where she is revealed to be the daughter of Frederick Lancaster, who joined the Canyon Crows and exposed the dirty businesses behind the Second Huffman Conflict. Two years after the novel's release, Sayuri shows up in 2, in which she, along with Lisa Stanley, investigates the Alordesh coup d'etat.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Walter Feng and Lynn Wenright were friends as children, and in the epilogue of 5, we learn that they eventually got married and had a daughter.
  • Coitus Ensues: There are a few instances of this.
    • In 5, Walter Feng and Lynn Wenright... experience some urges after the Strike Wyverns have finished taking Fortune Medical. Conveniently, there's a bed nearby...
    • In The Drive, this occurs between Captain Xiao and Leung Flybird thrice. But the most notable instance gets to be this one: When Captain Xiao arrives and stops Leung from murdering an unconscious Albert Masel, he somehow thinks that it's a good idea to start making out with her right at the spot.
    • This trope is played straight regularly in Dog Life & Dog Style.
  • Cold Sniper: It will surprise us if this trope doesn't show up.
    • Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov from 4 is this when she goes for a wanzer. She seems to prefer her Spider Tank, however.
    • Glen Duval from 5 turns into this, once he goes Brainwashed and Crazy thanks to the S-Type Device (forcibly) implanted in his head.
    • Leung Flybird and Mark Green from The Drive come off as this, when they snipe at an enemy mobile weapon unit while casually talking as though the target is a mitten crab they're going to crack open and eat.
    Leung (About to pull the trigger): I... gratefully... receive.
    • Shin Tsuneki from Dog Life & Dog Style also goes for a sniper rifle on several occasions, and he uses it to devastating effect whenever he does.
    • Otherwise, this trope is mostly inverted. The other sniper-type characters are generally normal off the field, or at least are Jerks With Hearts Of Gold, such as Billy Renges from 4.
  • Colonel Badass: Come on, how can a military-themed franchise not use this trope?
    • Ven Mackarge from 2 is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Alordesh Army. He orchestrates a violent coup d'etat which involves thousands of anti-OCU soldiers doing timed attacks on OCU bases, across the whole Alordesh, in a single night. And that's just the opening of the story.
      • Oh, in-game, Ven fights you more than ten times throughout the story and he survives every instance you blow up his machines (he's killed by the Dark Geese, not you.)
    • Inverted/Subverted in 2 with Andrew F. Hordman, who is rather inept.
    (An operation to rescue OCU politicians from coup d'etat forces begins, under Hordman's leadership.)
    Cordy (Staring at the dense enemy forces): There're so many of them!
    Lisa (Frowning): I know, this hardly looks like a rescue mission to me...
    • In the expanded universe, Zead Elger is said to have been a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army prior to joining the Durandal.
    • Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov is good enough to become a Colonel in her early 20s.
    • Lynn Wenwright in 5 is promoted to this. Hector Reynolds is one as well, although in a bit of a twist, he's a Combat Medic. Walter Feng eventually get promoted to one as well, years after the incident in Alaska.
  • Combat Medic: The Mechanic job class, first seen in the remake "Front Mission 1st" and officially introduced in 4. This type of wanzers generally boasts strong armor and high power output, the latter of which enables them to mount the Repair Backpack, a tool used to do quick repairs on ally units during battle. Such benefits come at the expense of their offensive capacities, however.
  • Combination Attack: Introduced in 2, in which a certain pilot's best skill allows them to assist other pilots in combat, so long as they're within ranges.
  • Continuity Nod: Every game other than Gun Hazard has at least some of this. Even 1st manages to retroactively get some through the PS1 remake and DS port. In the case of Gun Hazard's lack of continuity nods, it is justified because its story takes place in an alternate universe.
    • 5. EVERYWHERE.IN.THE.FREAKING.GAME. It even involves references to real world events! note .
  • Continuity Reboot: The franchise has laid dormant since 2010 and is now planned to be revived with a new game currently in development and scheduled for 2017-2018.
  • Cool Old Guy: This is expected. See Badass above.
    • 1st has Alder Weiss, the no-nonsense and slightly full-of-himself mercenary (and it isn't like he has no reason to be so).
    • 4 brings us Carl Thammond. Now, imagine you have a group of La Résistance hiding in your little village. They are fighting to liberate your people, so you love them. Then one day, they are being chased down by soldiers of the corrupt, oppressive government. Things are starting to look bad... until your 50-year-old school teacher is revealed to be a Retired Badass, jumps into a wanzer, leads a gang of guerilla fighters into the field and saves the day.
    • This trope hits a new height in 5, where we have Hector Reynolds. Although he's supposedly in his 60s by the time of the final arc, he is still the CO of the Barghest, and more than capable of helping Walter Feng kick asses in the battlefield. Wait, did I mention that he helps stop a group of Super Soldier terrorists from vaporizing Alaska in the said story arc?
      • Justified, Alder and Thammond are both veterans, while Hector is a S-Type user himself.
  • Cool Ship: Moreso in Gun Hazard than the mainline games, though some military helicopters and planes in the mainline could count.
    • The Eclipse, hull number CVN-112, in 5. While it's designated as an aircraft carrier and is seen launching fighters, the Eclipse functions closer to a larger cousin of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: There are a couple of these among the villains.
    • Like Koichi Sakata from 1st, for instance.
    • Government-entrenched versions take their place in Gun Hazard.
  • Corrupt Politician: And HOW! "Corrupt" doesn't even begin to describe it. In short, the politicians in this series's universe have been known to:
    • Try to murder various nations' representatives at the signing of a peace treaty, to prolong a war that profits them (Alternative);
    • Endorse a project which involves soldiers being kidnapped and having their brains extracted, in order to research technology that will enable the creation of Super Soldiers (1st).
    • Use a civil war as the cover for testing a Weapon of Mass Destruction on a poor fellow nation, when the said fellow nation stops being economically exploitable, of course (2).
    • Fight for the copy of another Weapon of Mass Destruction and, to prevent the other party from obtaining it, detonate the said copy in a densely populated area, killing millions of civilians (3).
    • Attempt to manipulate other nations into a potential world war, only to give one of the involved nations incentive to import their products and thus give their economy a needed boost (4).
    • When this troper comes to think of it, he almost have to develop some sympathy for MORGAN BERNARD. That's saying something...
  • Crapsack World: The main series is apparently set in one of these.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The vast majority of the playable pilots are specialized in certain job classes, each of which plays some vital strategic roles in the battlefield, and has wanzer models specifically designed for it. In general, there are five job classes:
    • Striker (aka Fighter): A job class dedicated to close-range combat, using melee weapons and often short-range firearms. Commonly equipped with knuckles, pile bunkers, and rods. These weapons tend to deal much damage but are lightweight. Hence, the usual wanzer model used by Strikers is a fast and tough machine that lacks power output.
      • Notable characters specialized in this role include: Rocky Armitage (2), Kazuki Takemura (3), and Darril Traubel (4).
    • Assault (aka Attacker): A balanced job class, suited for various tactics. Usually equipped with short- and mid- range firearms such as machine guns, shotguns, flamethrowers, and assault rifles. Wanzers piloted by Assaults tend to be Jack-of-All-Stats with decent armor, mobility and power output. Hybrid Assaults armed with a melee-firearm combination also exist.
      • Examples of notable characters specialized in the Assault class include: Ash Faruk (2), Elsa Eliane (4), and Walter Feng (5).
    • Gunner (aka Sniper): A job class devoted to long-range combat, using heavier firearms such as sniper rifles, bazookas, and gatling guns. Despite their weaponry's having both range and damage output, wanzer models used by Gunners have to sacrifice armor and some mobility to possess enough power output for carrying such weapons.
      • Noteworthy characters known for their skills as Gunners include: Billy Renges (4), Glen Duval (5), and Leung Flybird (The Drive).
    • Launcher (aka Missileer): A job class specialized in providing support fire via artilleries such as missile launchers, grenade launchers, and rocket launchers. Wanzer models designed for this role tend to have very high power output, but weak armor and low mobility.
      • Characters known to be specialized as Launcher units include: Lisa Stanley (2), Emir "Emma" Klamsky (3), and Zead Elger (4).
    • Commander: Lightning Bruisers who serve as the leader units of their squads. Such units are usually equipped with short- and mid- range firearms, paired with a melee weapon or artilleries for all-rounded, versatile performance in combat.
      • Royd Clive (1st) and Ernest J. Salinger (aka "Storm"; 2089) are both examples of pilots of the Commander class.
    • In addition to these five job classes, four special classes exist to provide combat support using equipment outside weapons.
    • Mechanic (aka Engineer): A job class devoted to the use of Repair Backpacks, with which the unit does quick repairs on ally units during battle. The combination of shield and firearm for the purpose of self-defense is typically seen on a Mechanic unit. Wanzer models used for this class tend to have superior armor and power output.
      • Mechanics are seen in 2089, 2089-II, 1st, Online, 2, 4, 5, and Evolved.
      • Noteworthy characters dedicated to this role include: Halle Fiennes (1st), Hermes Sturges (4), and Hector Reynolds (5).
    • Jammer: A job class that excels at electronic warfare, carrying equipment like EMP Backpacks, enabling them to manipulate and disable other machines' electronics, making the latter open for attacks. Usually equipped with melee weapons or short-range firearms to provide capacity for self-defense. Wanzers used by Jammers tend to be fast but weak.
      • Jammers show up in Online, 4, 5, and Evolved.
      • Latona Rodiona Vasilev (4) is noted for playing this role in her unit.
    • Recon: A job class dedicated to the use of Sensor Backpacks, deployed to scout out and help Launchers direct missiles towards enemy targets. Mostly equipped with melee weapons and/or firearms for self-defense. Wanzer models used by Recons are usually very swift and agile, but have weak armor that does not last too long.
      • Recons appear only in Online, 4, and 5.
      • Dieter Borsh (4) is a character known for specializing in this job class.
    • Comms: A job class noted for using Radio Backpacks that enable them to communicate with ally transports and direct air support, which ranges from carpet bombing and armor coating to calling in new wanzer units (to replace destroyed ones). Often equipped with missile launchers or other artilleries, so that the unit can also offer some offensive combat support.
      • Comms are available in Online and 4 only.
      • Beck Canova (4) belongs to this job class.
    • Of course, employing all of these specialists effectively is Truth in Television: modern militaries practice the doctrine of combined arms, where different units with different specialities work together to cover each others' weaknesses.
    • Lampshaded by a person in the OCU Campaign of 1st: "It's easy to specialize in using one type of weapon than using all of them."
  • Critical Annoyance: The one in Gun Hazard is known for being one of the few you can turn off.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. The main games all have separate HP bars for each of the four parts of a wanzer (Body, Two Arms, and the Legs).
  • Custom Uniform: Seen in 5; unlike regular USN pilots, who wear tan or olive drab flightsuits, Strike Wyverns and Barghest pilots wear gray and black flightsuits respectively.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Happens on a regular basis.
    • In Alternative, we have WAW gliders, which, for some reasons, do not show up in-game.
    • In 1st's USN campaign, we have wanzer parachutes before the invasion of Freedom City.
    • Gun Hazard does this with infinite vernier power for two aerial missions, and infinite dash for a few missions... although the later roller dash units can pretty much go on forever anyway.
    • In 3, Jose Astrada at the finale of the Taal Naval Base arc: He wipes the floor with the mighty Purple Haze before you fights him and... you can kill him in a turn once the cutscene ends.
    • Rocket-shaped verniers in 4.
    • The cutscene after the final mission of the Huffman Island arc in 5, where Glen Duval crushes Walter Feng's platoon and their offscreen reinforcements while dancing around their barrage. Possibly justified in that he is in an experimental S-Type Zenith, but in-game, nobody takes on six wanzers alone and comes out unscathed.
    • Midway through the Strike Wyverns arc of 5: Walter Feng's platoon are retreating, while being pursued by two Garsade mobile weapons. Lynn covers their retreat from the Eclipse, and one-shots each Garsade using a sniper rifle which is never seen in actual gameplay.
    • Evolved has a bunch of these, but it's most evident during one of the Antarctica missions when Cornelius uses the power of E.D.G.E. on some destroyed wanzers, resurrecting them (yes, resurrect). These "zombie" wanzers are completely shot up, with the skeletal frames beneath their armors showing.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: May happen in the same game in Evolved because in wanzer, if you use two-handed weapon, you use left click (or z) to zoom and right click to shoot, while on foot you use right click to zoom and left click to shoot.
  • Darker and Edgier: The franchise's manga and novels, compared to the games.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: With "dark" in the sense of appearance...
    • The Spirit of Huffman's members are all in the typical dark masks and helmets which terrorists wear, though all their targets are the Sakata Industries villains, not civilians.
    • 1st's OCU campaign generally portrays USN soldiers in a grim light - the prime example being the Hell's Wall unit full of scarred freaks. But the USN campaign shows that they are not really bad once you get to know them.
    • Inverted in 2, in which the Dark Geese's color scheme is as dark as their name suggests.
    • Inverted again in 3, where the JDF Special Force sport darkly colored wanzers.
    • Also inverted in 4. The antagonistic Zaftran forces have a black color scheme.
    • In 5, the Barghest's camouflage scheme is pitch black with dark gray trimming. Their flightsuits are black, and they are named after a black demonic dog in British myths, but they are decent soldiers who fight terrorists.
    • This trope is inverted in 2089 as well. The Vampires are in pitch black wanzers, and many of their codenames are inspired by mythic creatures associated with darkness (e.g., one of them is named "Demon", another is "Witch", and of course, "Vampire"). Dark Is Not Evil is played straight with "Dark Knight" (aka Roy), however.
    • Is it just me, or are there actually more Dark Is Evil examples than the other way round?
  • Deep Cover Agent: Enforced.
    • Mikhail Ilyich Rezanov (aka "Driscoll"), Niklas Glaeser, Rolf Wagner, and most members of the Blauer Nebel are, in fact, Zaftran spies.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Averted... except in 1st's OCU campaign, where no less than six of the Canyon Crows members are recruited by having Royd Clive or another of the crows beat the stuff out of them in solo combat. Most of them are optional, however.
    • Somewhat justified in that the crows are mercenaries, so Royd can take whoever he likes, and to fight someone is a reasonable method to test if he's good enough for your team.
    • In 2, you can recruit up to three teams of mercenaries as hired help for a certain mission if you can beat them in a team match at the Bornea arena. This, too, is entirely optional.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: There are several instances of this.
    • We have a case of Defrosting Ice King in 2: Ash Faruk has never smiled since he became the scapegoat for the failure of the First Alordeshi Coup D'etat... until Lisa Stanley comes around.
    • Over the course of Emma's campaign in 3, the cold, professional Emir "Emma" Klamsky slowly warms up to Kazuki Takemura. Their shared concern about her sister Alisa helps.
    • In 5, Lynn Wenright begins as a cold, no-nonsense military officer, but slowly defrosts towards Walter Feng. They later get married and have a daughter.
  • Difficulty Spike: The first three missions of the notoriously unforgiving UCS Scenario in 1st are barely manageable on your first playthrough but it soon becomes downright impossible when you reach the fourth mission where you have to stop two rampaging Type 90X prototype Wanzers. Even though the prototypes are in critical condition, your weapons will (at best) inflict scratch damage on them while they can destroy your best available, albeit largely inferior, Pheasant wanzers with only a few devastating punches. To further complicate matters, you will automatically fail the mission if the prototypes reach the exit and escape which forces you to risk your units to rush into a blocking position in order to prevent that. The only way to have a sure chance at completing this mission without dying is to grind a hundred battles at the Arena which, in turn, makes the rest of the scenario disappointingly easy as you will now be overleveled.
  • Dirty Communists: The Republic of Zaftra, having fallen on hard times, seems to want nothing but powers and profits at the expense of everybody else, if their desperate attempt to manipulate the EC and the USN into warring with each other is any indication.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In 5, after the oil rig mission, Hector Reynolds offers Walter Feng some... embarrassing information about Lynn Wenright: Back when she was in the Barghest, her room was filled with pictures of Walter. They are soon interrupted by Lynn, who earnestly tries to kill Hector, and threatens to shoot Walter if he mentions any of this again.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: In 1st's OCU campaign, after the hospital raid in Grey Rock, Olson - the man interested in putting sworn enemies in their places more than anything else - makes no mention of a raid unit being blitzed by the Canyon Crows. The crows are probably thinking "Uhh, Colonel, you're welcome!" Much, much later on the story unveils why all Olson could say was...
    Olson:Under normal circumstances, you would all be facing a court-martial right now, but General Blakewood, the Supreme Commander of this unit, has ordered me to be lenient with you.
    • Averted in Walter Feng's story in 5; he begins as a nobody... but by the time of the third arc, he is famed as the hero of the Cambodian campaign and renowned in certain circles for being a veteran platoon commander of the Strike Wyverns and a Barghest operator.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The games' endings all involve lots of turmoils for the protagonists.
    • 5 subverts this in a big way. Morgan Bernard wins every time protagonists in previous entries win, because the latter (unintentionally) help humiliate the globalists and spread nationalism, which Morgan Bernard is trying to do. For instance, although Ash Faruk (2) is probably glad that his home country gains independence, the incident also topples the OCU's already shaky popularity among its member states. This leads to the union's near-collapse by the time of 3. Dr. Bernard couldn't be more pleased with the result.
  • Easy Logistics: Subverted and averted to various degrees in the games.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: Truth in Television.
    • The IMAC in Alternative. They were one of the few armed forces in the world with access to the then cutting-edge WAWs (and later on, prototype WAPs).
    • In 2089, the Storm Unit is eventually recruited by the CIU.
    • In 2089-II, the Chariots end up recruited by the CIU too.
    • Kevin Greenfield, Johnny Sanders and Matthew D. Lorenzo in 1st start off as members of the elite Black Hounds, before being posted to the equally renowned Nirvana Institute. They are temporarily "demoted" to regular grunts in the USN Army during the Second Huffman Conflict, but end the story under the employment of the top-class USN Military Intelligence.
    • In 3, Kazuki's True Companions are eventually working with either a DHZ intelligence agent or the FAI.
    • Walter begins 5's prologue as nothing more than a grunt infantryman, trains as a normal army wanzer pilot, joins the Strike Wyverns after the Second Huffman Conflict, and is finally invited to join the Barghest note .
  • Enemy Chatter: In most games, enemies occasionally speak when fought for the first time in that mission or defeated. This in general applies to named enemy characters.
    • 1st: In a bit of a twist, one of the first hints that Guri B. Olson is not all he seems to be (aside from the Anvilicious cutscene a few missions earlier) is the chatter from a random person at a bar that the OCU isn't entirely a hopeless cause and that their tank squadrons are competent enough to win against the USN.
  • Ensemble Cast: Most prominent in 2, with the focus of the story shifting back and forth between Ash Faruk, Thomas Norland and Lisa Stanley at any given time in the game.
  • Escort Mission: There's at least one of these in each game.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Why do cargo trucks explode after being shot once or a few times?
    • Because it's awesome.
    • I see your exploding trucks and raise you exploding human combatants in 3.
      • All of the above examples are being shot with large-caliber shells on par with tank rounds. To not explode would be quite difficult.
    • Lampshaded in 5: Cargo trucks packed with explosives are used as traps in some missions.
  • Evil Old Folks: Several characters give off this vibe.
  • Expy: The Barghest in 5 is quite explicitly tailored as an obvious Expy to Delta Force, from the counter-terrorism focus, to their designation (Special Forces Armored Detachment-Barghest vs Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta), to both teams belonging to SOCOM.
  • Failsafe Failure: The ejection seats in 3 are ridiculously faulty. It is not that they don't work when the pilot is about to experience a fiery death, but are in fact way too prone to ejecting pilots from their wanzers after their machine gets shaken a bit too much. Being flung out of your wanzer with nothing but a worthless handgun seems almost random at times.
    • This occurs to Randy O'Neill in 5. His wanzer's ejection system is jammed, which leaves him helpless against Glen Duval's point blank shotgun barrage.
  • Five-Bad Band: Pretty much enforced.
  • Five-Man Band: Similarly enforced. See Five-Bad Band above.
  • Forgotten Childhood Friend: Lynn Wenright was once friends with Walter Feng, Randy O'Neill and Edward Collins as a child, although not really close to them. Walter is thrown for a loop when he learns that the cold, hardass CO of his new unit used to be the quiet girl who had a major crush on him.
  • For SCIENCE: Gun Hazard's Dr. Akihito Sakata uses this as his motive for joining the good guys. Mostly because he wants to find weapons to test his shield against, although in the Gun Hazard radio drama, the scientist says he was moved by Albert Grabner's plea for help.
  • For Want of a Nail: In 3... the fates of a lot of people are effectively determined by a rather simple choice made very early in the story. It is, in many cases, literally life-and-death.
    • Happens again in 5 but downplayed. Apparently, whether two unnamed soldiers get to survive or be blown into bits by a wanzer's bazooka rests on how Walter Feng and his crew enters Ya Dav.
  • Four-Star Badass: Again, this is enforced.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: In 1st's OCU campaign, we have a fairly large cast that doesn't fit too well into a Five-Man Band...
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Quite a few of these show up.
    • In Gun Hazard, you can use laser rifles that fire a thin or medium-length beam, depending on what you buy. The Spark Shot special weapon fires a homing-type laser, too. Enemy units have a wider variety of laser weapons to play with. There is also the ATLAS orbital elevator's main beam cannon, which is powerful enough to erase towns from existence.
    • In Alternative, there are three instances of laser beams appearing:
      • In Mission 24, the IMAC have to escort a trio of Yagisawa WAWs, who are testing out a giant railgun. But instead of shooting a shell, it spits out a big blue laser.
      • Towards the finale, when the IMAC infiltrates the secret underground factory run by the EC, they come across a shoulder laser cannon oddly nicknamed "Blassty".
      • In the final mission of the true ending, the IMAC is given a demonstration of the Saryshagan Rifle by Gustav Zelman and the EC's remaining forces at Timgad. The Saryshagan Rifle is a laser weapon which, at its full power, can destroy small settlements with a massive beam of doom. In-game, it's a One-Hit Kill weapon.
    • In the USN campaign of 1st, laser beams appear when the USN Army calls in a laser strike on the HQ of the Star of Freedom.
    • In 3, a new weapon class called "Beam" exists for energy-based weapons which happen to be the most powerful, since there is no defense against them. There are only a few Beam class weapons, and the player has access to one.
      • It is possible to use an enemy unit's Beam weapon if you hijack it...
    • In Evolved, the laser beams sadly are either (a) in the hands of enemy units or (b) only shows up in the cutscenes.
    • Truth in Television. The military use of laser is indeed being researched.
  • Friendly Enemy: Handled more realistically than most examples; the USN and the OCU are sworn enemies since the First Huffman Conflict, but the USN frequently ends up helping the OCU with the latter's domestic conflicts. Foreign intervention or salvation, these two world powers become quite friendly by 2112 (3).
    • Truth in Television. Just ask any political scientist.
    • There are also Walter Feng and Glen Duval in 5. In childhood, they were best friends before being forcefully repatriated by both the OCU and the USN thanks to the First Huffman Conflict. They remain friends even if they won't hesitate to shoot each other's wanzers down. Not even Glen killing Randy can break that bond.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Played straight in 4.
    • Averted in 5. Friendly fire is present and can kill your team as easily as it does your enemies, so careful positioning is a must. Players must learn to position their units to minimize friendly fire risk while maximizing friendly fire on the part of enemies.
  • The Gadfly: Hector Reynolds, whenever he's teasing Lynn Wenright.
  • Gaiden Game: Gun Hazard and Evolved. Gun Hazard takes place in an alternate universe, while Evolved is a story reboot that isn't connected to the others.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In a way, S.C.I.O.N. in Evolved.
  • Geo Effects: Or rather, terrain and elevation effects.
    • Among wanzers, bipeds excel in tarmac and have good jumping ability (swamps and marshes bog them down); Quads are more versatile with regards to terrains, but can't really jump; And hovers ignore terrain effects altogether, but can only go shallow inclines (not steps).
    • Also, units on higher elevations firing down have greater accuracy, while units firing up receive accuracy penalties.
    • In 4, a wanzer hugging walls that blocked line of sight from Launchers is immune to missiles as the missiles would hit the walls instead of the wanzer. Either that, or the Launcher simply can't target the said units.
    • 5 partly removes this. Launchers firing at targets behind obstructions can fire their missiles into the air, which would arc down and hit the targets, exactly how man-portable antitank missiles like the Javelin behave. Of course, for that to happen, you need a unit with sensor backpack to help guide the missiles.
    • And there's another twist on Geo Effects in 5. Sensor backpacks are unusable in indoor maps, because the missile flight paths (as per above) would cause them to hit the ceiling, relegating Launcher units to line of sight.
  • A God Am I: Lukav Minaev in 3 is a major case of this.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Karen was so horrified to see what was inside the factory in the Larcus District that she was at a complete loss of words which allowed Driscoll to sneak up and destroy her wanzer without breaking a sweat. In the USN side of the story, Kevin Greenfield is confused by Karen's barely coherent rambling (she was still in shock) as she was taken aborad the transport chopper and points out to Driscoll that her physical injuries were minimal and she was obviously in psychological distress.
  • Gonk: Peewie Richburg Jr.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid: In the finale of Gun Hazard, during the assault on ATLAS, almost all of the supporting cast you've worked with before in the other areas. Richard Millman from the Kernelight Association seems to head things up, with a posse of mercs who take out the AA defenses so you can make your assault. Pretty much every one of Albert Grabner's former contractors also makes an appearance there.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: In 1st's OCU campaign, OCU and later the PMO are the "good"; the USN and the Spirit of Huffman are the "bad"...
    • That is, until the Perspective Flip switches PMO and the Spirit of Huffman; The Nirvana units the Republic of Zaftra are the evil, as are some particulars of the PMO, namely that ole mole Guri B. Olson.
  • The Grim Reaper: The Preatorian's motif in Gun Hazard and he plays it rather well, making use of Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe to communicate, piloting the reaper-like Edel Ritter wanzer and killing "The Society" superiors like Jose, who have failed the organization. His only mistake is not wielding a scythe as a weapon but a giant rod with a iron ball on the top.
  • Guide Dang It: In 3, most guides include how to get the Hoshun Mk. 112... not so much on That One Level in Alisa's campaign, where, like all missions, you have four people, but you must have Ryogo on foot (which makes him squishier than Twinkies), and only three wanzers against a full complement of squads. And Ryogo *has* to go ahead, activate a panel, and then come back. If he bites it, game over.
    • The secret is actually simple. Just go to the Network and download a map of the Sewer area beforehand. Also, in both scenarios, you can buy the image-enhancing software. Use it on the map and you can go through the map normally with four units.
    • In the PSN version of 3, simply downloading the map will let you use all four wanzers, and the location and password of the map is given in an e-mail a few missions beforehand.
    • This is required to recruit Darril Traubel in 5.
    • In 4, there are missions which have secondary objectives and will reward you with nice stuff if they are completed. The problem is that some of them are hard and chances are that you will miss most of them on the first run through the game. Speaking to certain people during the intermissions can also get you some additional gear.
  • Guns Akimbo: Assault units are usually armed with two guns (2 Shotguns, 2 Machine Guns, or 1 Shotgun and 1 Machine Gun) so that they can keep fighting when one arm is destroyed. There is a battle skill that enables the pilot to fire both guns at the same time.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Kazuki Takemura in 3 defines this trope. Despite being the main character, he angers over a myriad of issues, especially if it involves his sister Alisa. He snaps very often at Ryogo Kusama whenever the latter says something stupid. The whole Emma's campaign can be viewed as a game-wide Roaring Rampage of Rescue for him, as finding Alisa is his one and only motive to fight.
    • In Alisa's campaign, since Alisa is on your team... his Big Brother Instinct kicks in over anyone who even looks at her funny, much less threatens her, jokes about their relationship, or simply mentions her name. It only gets worse once he gets further involved with the story.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted in 5. Walter Feng, Darril Traubel and the Barghest's "normal" pilots are able to hold their own against the pilots with S-Type devices due to nothing but sheer experience and hard work.
    • In-game, the only reward for being a S-Type user is access to certain powerful, but expensive, skills. This is counterbalanced with their higher susceptibility to EMP.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Evolved uses this trope very frequently. Enemy characters, such as Marcus Seligman and Gloria Leguizamo, can get knocked down and disabled in combat... but still functional enough for a tactical retreat in the cutscene that immediately follows.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: In 1st and 3, there is a default name and call sign for the main character. In the case of 2, every playable pilot has one.
  • Heroic Mime: Downplayed in 5. Although Walter Feng does speak during cutscenes, you'll almost never hear him talk outside that. You can choose what he says in some conversation, however.
    • Somewhat justified. Walter isn't a very talkative person.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Darril Traubel and Billy Renges from 4.
  • Hollywood Science: Almost always averted, but there remain two examples:
    • The Repair Backpack enables the quick maintenance of machines in the field. The technology that allows it to work is never explained.
    • Wanzers are equipped with a Damage Resistance System that reduces the damage received from certain types of weapons. HOW it does that is not elaborated upon in detail.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The only plausible explanation for Adela Seawell inexplicably missing a stationary Marcus Seligman after the latter shoots Alan Ramsey dead in Evolved.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: There're a few in every game. Largely different from other endgame equipment in terms of ranges, ammo capacities, or the amount of experience doled out per shot.
    • Evolved has an achievement named "Infinity Plus One" as well.
  • In Medias Res: You begin 1st as the commander of a small unit, in both campaigns.
  • It's Up to You: In Evolved... it is probably no surprise that not much will get done if you spend your time on all those 100% Completion scavenger hunts for sensor pods, emblems, and various pickups/item destruction bonuses. All allies will sit there waiting on you instead of taking most any part of the mission (save basic self-defense) into their own hands.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Darril Traubel and Billy Renges in 4. They are both embittered by their demotions and claim they are helping the guerrillas only to hang on to 25 million dollars of stolen gold, but when the chips are down, they come through anyway. Examples include...
    • Stopping a Venezuelan Army attack on a village, and helping the La Alianza make their push into Caracas knowing full well that they will be lucky to survive.
    • They also work with the Durandal, giving them some seriously vital information.
    • At the end, they give away half of the gold to help Luis Perez rebuild Venezuela.
    • 1st's USN campaign introduces Kevin Greenfield as friend to the Hell's Wall unit commander Grieg Demetrius and the rest of the unit. In the OCU campaign, they are notorious for a very good reason. But in here, they are portrayed as tough-but-loyal to each other and concerned about keeping ally casualties to minimum. Ghetta Cedric even joins the Silver Lynxes later to avenge his fallen comrades.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: If Darril Traubel and Billy Renges are any indication, it seems regular service in the USN Army is a dead-end career. Darril's case is interesting, since he's a veteran of the Second Huffman Conflict. It is revealed in the secret mission in the DS version of 1st and in 5 that he became disillusioned with the USN Army after they willingly allowed civilians and soldiers to die during the war. Darril does eventually regain his rank of Captain later in 5, but he does not progress beyond this, even after he joins the "elite of the elite" Barghest.
  • Joke Character: Linny Barilar forces himself onto your team fairly late in Emma's campaign in 3. He is trying to make a name for himself and his family, with a methane-powered wanzer. It makes sense since he comes from an agricultural background, but using animal waste to power wanzers does not go unnoticed by the other team members.
    • In terms of gameplay, he only has a C rank for missile launchers and... nothing else.
  • Kick the Dog: With this series set in a Crapsack World, this is unsurprising.
    • In 1st's OCU campaign, Guri B. Olson pulls back and aims, threatenimg to have Keith Carabell "expended". Where the wind-up ends and the kick begins is rather subjective.
    • Glen Duval kills a helpless Randy by repeatedly shooting his cockpit block at point blank range. This spurs Walter Feng's personal story in 5.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Royd Clive almost goes off the handle and tries to kill Driscoll when they briefly team up against the Spirit of Huffman forces.
  • Kill Sat: In 2, we have a satellite equipped with the FENRIR.
    • Vritra is one of these in Evolved.
  • Leitmotif: All the freaking time.
    • Karen Meure, Natalie F. Blakewood, Maria Paredes, and Driscoll in 1st.
    • Richard Millman, Ark Hellbrand, Genoce Felder, and Royce Felder in Gun Hazard.
    • Lira Labra and Domingo Kyatt in 2.
    • Lukav Minaev and Linny Barilar in 3.
    • Morgan Bernard in 5.
    • Dylan Ramsey in Evolved.
      • There are also more general examples, which don't necessarily involve a character, such as the Canyon Crows and Black Hounds themes in 1st. 5 also has a few, including the Scars of the War leitmotif, the Strike Wyverns', and the Barghest's.
  • La Résistance: The creation of the People's Republic of Da Han Zhong led to the rise of an internal resistance faction called the Hua Lian Rebels which is equipped and financed by the USN. Although under-equipped and outnumbered by the Changli Army, the Hua Lian Rebels seek to put an end to Jie Bo Lao's Dictatorship at any cost.
  • Latex Space Suit: For the most part, it is averted. Most pilots either wear fatigues, street clothes or flightsuits similar to those worn by helicopter crews. Exceptions are the Durandal in 4 and the cast of Evolved, though their suits, while form-fitting, are still thickish, resembling racing coveralls.
  • Let Them Die Happy: Walter does this for Glen at the finale of 5, after the latter has shaken off his Brainwashed and Crazy, assuring him that Randy is alive and well, though Glen already knows the truth and calmly accepts his fate.
  • Lethal Joke Character: Those attack helicopters in 3. When you hijack them with your long-range combat specialists, Hilarity Ensues.
    • To note: Helicopters have TWO built-in missile launchers... Expect Macross Missile Massacre before you return to your wanzer.
    • Don't forget about the Iyana Wanzer from 2. Sure, it looks goofy and carries a parrot-shaped missile launcher, but judging from its in-game stats, it is on par with the RAVEN.
  • Level Grinding: You will need to do much of this in the Arena or Battle Simulator if you are having trouble with the next mission.
  • The Load: See Escort Mission above. An example that truly stands out is Elmo in 4, who outright charges towards enemy forces on his own, instead of having the basic self-preservation instinct generally possessed by characters of this trope.
    • And let me remind you: Since it is an Escort Mission, you lose if he dies... Thanks, Elmo.
    • There's a rather dark example of this in The Drive. After the Akatsuki Unit saves Albert Masel's ass, Leung Flybird thinks that Albert will become this trope to their unit... so she tries to murder him when he's sleeping. Luckily for Albert, it is interrupted by Captain Xiao.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: It isn't as bad as some games, but there will be pilots you never use. 5 really takes the cake thanks to its Scouting System.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: This can be invoked in 5. Load two missile launchers that fire multiple missiles, then use an S-Type pilot with the "Double Missile" skill...
  • Magikarp Power: Melee builds.
  • Majorly Awesome: In 5, Walter Feng spends much of the story as a Major, for over 10 years.
  • The Man Behind the Man
    • 1st: Brigadier General Patrick S. Winger, a High-ranking Officer who is responsible for managing the UCS side of the BD Project, was released back to civilian status after a lack of evidence and key witnesses to prove his involvement in the conspiracy concluded his trial in only a dishonorable discharge. The UCS Intelligence Agency actually allowed Winger to go free in order to find his superiors who are the real authority behind the BD Project.
    • 2: Ven Mackarge looks like Big Bad at first glance... but as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the revolution is backed by a certain party represented by Franz Herschel, whom Ven seems somewhat afraid of. Much to Ven's sorrow, the revolution turns out to be a charlatan show, a cover used by that certain party to obtain a copy of the FENRIR...
  • Manchild: Phillip Chaeffer from 4 can come off as this.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Pretty much a given.
  • Masashi Hamauzu: Composed part of the music for Gun Hazard.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: From 5, Walter Feng is a quiet and reserved feminine boy to Lynn Wenright's tough and dominant masculine girl.
    • Conversed, as in "Your ass belongs to Lynn!"
  • Meaningful Name: In the DS port of 1st, the wanzer of Hans Goldwin is named Trojan.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: As described above.
  • Mechanical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Short > Melee > Long > Short in 1st, at least in theory.
    • Poor, Predictable Rock: A melee build in 1st without the skill First can easily have their arm(s) rifled off before they can do so much as glare at you. Even if they initiate the attack.
  • Memetic Badass: After the African Conflict (Alternative), Earl McCoy spent years fighting to quell the violence across Africa. He eventually became this in-universe, as in "THE REAL MCCOY".
  • Mercy Kill: In 1st, after the final fight in Longrivers Island, Royd Clive sets his wanzer on fire, with Karen Meure still inside it as a B-Type Device, and relieves her from the torture of being reduced to a biocomputer. Karen is able to resist it, but she doesn't.
  • Mildly Military: The Durandal in 4. Although most of them are on secondment from their national militaries, the group is fairly laid back. But if you think that makes them less dangerous, perhaps you should think again.
  • Mind Rape: In Alisa's campaign in 3, neither Emma nor Alisa are willing to tell Lukav how to build the MIDAS, so he forcibly extracts the information from Emma, and leaves her little more than an Empty Shell by the time Kazuki and Alisa rescue her.
  • Mini-Mecha: Most wanzers are barely larger than MBTs or IFVs. A civilian cargo truck could carry three of them easily. Their rather spacious cockpits take most of the torso section (judging from cutscenes). Also, they can easily jump onto and stand on top of buildings without damaging them, which actually provide noticable terrain effects.
  • The Mole: Zig Zags in 1st. In terms of good and evil, President Sakata through and through. And, as clues seem to indicate, the ole mole Guri B. Olson just as much.
    • Liu Hei Fong and Miho Shinjo of Alisa's campaign in 3, but Miho never truly betrays the party, and both of them genuinely join Kazuki's cause later on.
  • Mother Zaftra Makes You Strong: Played quite straight for Mikhail Ilyich Rezanov (aka 'Driscoll'), Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov, and Rolf Wagner. They even refer to Zaftra as "Motherland".
  • Multinational Team: The IMAC in Alternative is made of members from various OAC states and the OCU. Also, the Durandal in 4 has members from the EC, the USN, and Zaftra.
    • Given the theme of globalization, nearly all groups are this to some degree.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Ash Faruk (2) would've been much better off if he was less devoted to the People's Republic of Alordesh...
    • Rolf Wagner from 4 turns out to be this to the Republic of Zaftra, his real home country.
  • My Hero Zero: A popular Japanese wanzer type in 3.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Barghest in 5; from British folklore, the Barghest is a black demonic dog, ala Hound of the Baskervilles.
    • Ivanovna is a vindictive, merciless, blood-thirsty Zaftran colonel, delighted at slaughtering her enemies with her Zhuk mobile weapon.
  • New Game+: First seen in 3, in which battle skills are retained. 4 allows levels, cash and wanzer parts to be carried over. 5 has a similar mode, as well as Hard Mode, which resets the cash and levels, and significantly ramps up the difficulty in exchange for the chance to get the best wanzers in the game.
  • Noble Bigot: Dennis Vicarth in 3.
  • Noble Fugitive: Kwang Ming was the son of Ming Huang Jiu, the legitimate successor who was next in line to become the Chairman of China. When his father was secretly assassinated by Jie Bo Lao, Kwang was the sole survivor of the attempt and was forced to go into hiding as Jie's dictatorship took absolute control over the country by Nationalizing the industries and silencing anyone who stood in his way. Kwang would eventually be found and made leader of the Hua Lian Rebels.
  • Not Blood Siblings: 3 - Emir "Emma" Klamsky and Kazuki Takemura, tied with Alisa as the knot. Alisa is Emma's blood-tied and Kazuki's adoption-tied siblings, respectively.
    • In Emma's campaign, the Ship Tease is already thick at the beginning, Ryogo playing Shipper on Deck notwithstanding. But that culminates with the ending, where Alisa and Isao Takemura pull off Heroic Sacrifices. THIS is their last piece of dialogue:
    Emma: This is where we were born. And where we grew up together. I only have good memories of this place. We were a true family.
    Kazuki: A true family...
    Emma: I'll come back here when everything is done.
    Kazuki: We'll do that... with a new family.
  • Not So Stoic: Lynn Wenright totally freaks out when Walter Feng is badly wounded from Taking the Bullet for her at the end of the Cambodia arc.
    • Earlier, she flips out when it's revealed she used to have a Stalker Shrine of Walter.
    • And when Lynn is promoted after the Cambodia arc, she can't hide her glee. Edward Collins describes her as a kid with a new toy.
  • Older Than They Look: Koichi Sakata from 1st is 28.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: In 3', some of the enemies you encounter are Infantrymen, Tank Drivers, and Wanzer Pilots fighting on foot. The fact that you have to hit them more than once with your Wanzer-sized weapons before they go down really does not make any sense as the various projectiles you're firing at them are between 20mm (Wanzer guns) and 6 Inches (Missile Launchers) in diameter.
  • Only in It for the Money: Many characters, "good" or "bad", are no more than Hired Guns.
  • Our Presidents Are Different: President Moss Orwen of Gun Hazard is a Badass President who is willing to give it all away if that's what it takes to save his country.
  • Pile Bunker: Those in Front Mission look like some Armored Trooper VOTOMS versions.
  • Possession Implies Mastery: Starting with 3, you can commandeer any vacant vehicle or wanzer just fine. The only problem is that the equipped weapons might not be compatible with the pilot's specialty.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The B-Type devices are computer devices using human brains for computing and processing power.
  • Private Military Contractors: A number of these show up throughout the series. The OCU and the USN employ PMCs before and during the Second Huffman Conflict. Among them are the Storm Unit (2089), the Chariots (2089-II) and the Canyon Crows (1st). They also appear in Alternative through Bamia and Sinsemilla, in 2 through the Canyon Crows and the Dark Geese, in 3 through Centipede aka Wulong, in Evolved through Apollo's Chariot, in Gun Hazard through Crimson Blow and the Kernelight Association, and in The Drive through the Akatsuki Unit.
    • For a more personal example, Elsa Eliane helps Darril Traubel find work at a PMC after what happens in 4, before Darril rejoins the Strike Wyverns in 5.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Why are you such a bitch?" in 3. Funny because it's random.
  • Psycho for Hire: The Apollo's Chariot in Evolved. EVERY. LAST. ONE. Of them.
  • Punch Clock Villain: OCU and USN troops come off as this throughout 1st and 5.
    • The Changli Army and Rapid Reaction Force in 3.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Needless to say, this goes hand-in-hand with Bittersweet Ending.
    • In the real ending of Alternative, the IMAC halted the Cerberus Garde's final attempt to prolong the war by killing the OAC regional state leaders at a peace treaty signing. Also, with help from outside sources, the IMAC disclosed tons of evidence of the EC's machinations in the African Conflict to the OAC. In light of these revelations, the OAC demanded that the EC withdraw all of its influences from Africa. While it was then truly independent, the OAC's fortunes didn't get any better. References in 5 reveal that the OAC is still plagued with civil conflicts, terrorism and economic recession all these decades later. One soldier even muses that they were better off back when the EC was aiding them.
      • Now all the efforts of Earl McCoy and his buddies seem futile. This is depressing.
    • At the end of 2089-II, the CIU manages to wipe out the B-Organization and the remains of the Vampires, preventing another war from happening on Huffman Island. Unfortunately, as the B-Organization's headquarters happens to be in the Larcus District (the operation takes place at almost the same time as Royd Clive's investigation in 1st), the gang fail to foresee what would happen next. The OCU and the USN trade verbal jabs before finally going forward with the war march, thus begins the Second Huffman Conflict. And with the Second Huffman Conflict come countless atrocities and some disturbing conspiracies...
    • In the ending of 2, Burg Transportation stops the FENRIR and secures enough evidence of the OCU's political machinations, with some indirect help from the Grimnir, to guarantee Alordesh's freedom. However, Alordesh being independent from the OCU isn't exactly a win. As shown in 3 and 5, all those economic and social problems actually worsen since the country achieves its independence years later, not to mention there are also cases of terrorism and violent infighting going on in the country. Alordesh isn't that much better off with the OCU, but at least the union kept a lid on the violence.
    • The Cambodia arcs in 5 has similarities with 2. Even though the USN succeeds in their goal of keeping the peace between the country and the OCU, their victory also unintentionally ensures the independence of Cambodia. The independent Cambodia is no improvement over the OCU Cambodia as social and economic problems persists. And, like in Alordesh, there are cases of heavy terrorist and black market activities controlled by the Grimnir. This also starts a chain reaction which leads to the various revolutions within the OCU, as shown in 2 and 3.
    • Also, while 5 closes with most of the Grimnir eradicated and Morgan Bernard gone at last, Dr. Bernard has succeeded in his attempt to destroy the original MIDAS (luckily, Emma drops its power output to the lowest levels, so Alaska isn't vaporized by the antimatter). Also, the JDF steals MIDAS (the portable one powered by radiation) in the midst of the chaos, which sets up the events of 3 to come months later. The events from 3 eventually result in the OCU breaking apart, which is also one of Morgan's goals.
  • Rage Breaking Point: In 1st, one has to ask: Is it wise for soldiers to wander out of towns against orders and constantly try the patience of their colonel?
  • Rank Up: Happens to Walter in 5, which is quite reasonable, given that his story spans a 20-odd career in the armed forces. He starts as a buck Private, later gets promoted to Sergeant when he completes wanzer training. He's then promoted a few times to Captain amidst the Strike Wyverns timeskips, and later, after he joins Barghest, he's promoted to Major. By the end of the story, he's a full-blown Colonel.
    • Lynn is also promoted from Major to Lieutenant Colonel.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The franchise has three notable examples.
    • The Canyon Crows (1st) consists of a Byronic Hero leading a gang of Hired Guns, about half of whom jump onto the boat at the said hero's apathetic "Do what you want."
    • The Dulls Stags (2) are apparently involved in lots of black market activities and have a habit of backstabbing, as Lisa Stanley and her buddies find out the hard way.
    • The 332nd Mobile Company group from 4 is made of two veteran soldiers embittered by their dead-end careers and a Manchild with a habit of exposing their whereabouts to enemies.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: You can go through the games with your wanzers painted pink.
  • Real Robot: Wanzers are dangerous and fragile. It is not unusual to have one destroyed by just a single lucky shot. Intensive teamwork is required for them to operate on the battlefield.
    • In this video of 5's intro, several wanzers get utterly butchered by the chain gun of an attack helicopter.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The British Prime Minister Lionel Noland and the Vice Minister Cecil Allison fill this role towards the Durandal (4).
    • General Willas E. Blakewood is this to the Canyon Crows.
    • Don't tell this to Kazuki: His dad Isao does play this to his crew.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: In 1st's USN campaign, an unnamed USN general expresses the intent to reassign Kevin Greenfield to Alaska "to push up papers until he was dead" as the punishment, for blowing a critical mission to bring down the Star of Freedom. Fortunately for Kevin, he is sent to Huffman Island instead, at the request of the Special Weapons Research Division known as the "Nirvana Institute". Upon arrival, however, Driscoll threatens Kevin with reassignment to Alaska if he doesn't follow through on his orders without question.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
  • Red Shirt Army: In Olson's words from 1st, the OCU "couldn't fight its way out of a paper bag", so they need mercenaries to do all the heavy fighting for it. This turns out to be subverted. The OCU supposedly wins the war because of its tank squadrons, not any of its Hired Guns.
  • The Reveal: In the OCU campaign of 1st, Guri B. Olson's... lack of gratitude for the crows' rescue attempts is explained far later in the story. Driscoll's scheme, with the Grey Rock hospital raid as part of it, has been a big secret agenda that Olson is trying to protect from the "nosy but innocent" crows.
    • He even takes care to make sure that the Nirvana Institute does not run into the Canyon Crows from then onward, especially after what nearly happened.
  • Robot Buddy: An Easter Egg in Gun Hazard.
  • Save Scumming: In the Arena (at least that in 2089: Border of Madness, 1st and 5), your return on your bet depends on the difficulty of the fight, and hence you need lopsided (against you) fights in order to make a profit, but your whole bet amount is forfeited if you lose. For example in 1st, if you bet 500 Huffman dollars against an opponent with difficulty 1.50 then you lose all the 500 Huffman dollars if you lose, but you only gain 250 Huffman dollars if you win. While a single high-risk loss can wipe out a grinding streak's worth of revenue, you need this.
  • The Scapegoat: During the mission to destroy the Star of Freedom Headquarters in the Andes Mountains, Captain Maria Paredes gets hung up for some reason during her infiltration of the base interior. This delay proves to be very costly as it allows the resistance leadership to avoid the orbital strike which then spurs the Star of Freedom to continue their efforts against the UCS. Although Maria is clearly at fault for the embarrassing failure, Kevin Greenfield takes the blame instead as Maria is too important to be removed from the Black Hounds.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Mostly averted. But none of the Gun Hazard developers seemed to be aware of the lack of feasibility in making an orbital elevator a couple of kilometers wide when they designed the ATLAS. Then again, considering its true purpose...
    • This seems to be a recurrent issue with the series' Gaiden Games, if Evolved is any indication. Vritra is of impractical dimensions and construction for what amounts to a Kill Sat.
  • Scrappy Weapon: The Raptor MG, which has appeared in two games, stands out as being a fairly poor beginner-tier weapon that suffers from bad accuracy and low damage output.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Considering you may choose what weapons you equip, which parts you use and how many units you deploy, they're just asking you to take one.
  • Semper Fi: Walter Feng joins the USN Marine Corps' Strike Wyverns Armored Detachment during the middle arc of 5.
  • Sequel First: 3 was the series' debut outside of Japan.
  • Sequence Breaking: A minor, yet comedic, example in 3. If you happen to download the Nagoya Sewers map before you discover the password to download it, Kazuki questions it.
    Kazuki: Ryogo, how do you know the password?
    Ryogo: Wouldn't you like to know?
  • Sequential Bosses: Sinsemilla in Alternative, the Vampires in the 2089 games, Driscoll in 1st, Ven Mackarge in 2, Lukav Minaev in 3, and Rolf Wagner in 4. For the whole series, Morgan Bernard in the 2089 games, Online, 2, and 5!
  • Ship Tease: Between Elsa and Darril in 4. It is hinted in 5 that they may have gotten together. As revealed in the novels, they did.
    • There's so much Ship Tease between Lynn and Walter in 5 you can touch it. Their relationship gets... upgraded right before Walter joins the Barghest. The epilogue shows they get married and have a daughter, who is likely conceived at the time of the said upgrade.
  • Shout-Out: Wanzers, being about 5 to 6 meters tall in most cases (except for some unique units), armed with realistic weaponry based on actual technology, and having wheels built into their feet, are very similar to the realism-emphasized mecha that the anime Director Ryosuke Takahashi frequently used, such as in Armored Trooper VOTOMS and Blue Gender.
    • By this same shout-out it makes them similar to Gears.
    • A FAI assault unit in 3 is known as the Purple Haze.
    • In the DS remake of 1st, one of the OCU missions has you detonating a trio of charges under a number of bridges to destroy a supply train. The codenames for each are those of the female protagonists of Bubblegum Crisis.
    • There's an USN fighter codenamed "Red 5" in 3.
    • In 3, searching the USN network of the internet will reveal some information about a convicted killer named Norman Bates. Further research reveals that Norman Bates is a failed Imaginary Number.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Kazuki's response to the villains' attempts to justify their actions in 3.
  • Simple Yet Awesome: A few late-game shotguns in most of the entries are these, dealing decent damage at the low cost of 3 AP, but the standout examples are shotguns with the Dead Shot X skill in 5, where X is a guaranteed number of pellets will hit the target, no matter what evasion and accuracy modifiers are in place. note 
  • The Smurfette Principle: In each of 3's campaigns, the playable group consists of Kazuki, Ryogo, the main heroine (i.e., Emma or Alisa) and the remaining are either 'All male, one female' or 'One male, all female'.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Glaringly obvious in 1st, when you realize that the USN has had some of the best parts in the game just sitting in stores in their capital city, while you're stuck with your oh-so-impressive Zenith.
  • Space-Filling Empire: There are six supranational unions in Front Mission that are made from and based off of real life cross-national organizations, alliances, and/or trade organizations. Most modern day countries still exist as member states within such super-states. Several actually rebel against them.
    • The United States of the New Continent/Unified Continental States (USN/UCS) is formed from the North American Free Trade Agreement (USA, Canada, and Mexico), and later gobbles up the rest of the Central and South America. The only parts of the New Continent not under their control are some of the Caribbean Islands and probably the Falkland Islands.
    • The Oceania Cooperative Union (OCU) is evolved from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus Japan, Australia, South Korea, and most of the islands of Oceania that the USN doesn't own.
    • The European Commonwealth (EC) is just a more centralized version of the European Union but with every country in the European bloc included. When the franchise was first created, it was based on the real life European Union.
    • The Republic of Zaftra is formed from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which consists of most of the former Soviet Union (minus Belarus, which separated and became then known as the Republic of Ruvnui).
    • The Organization of African Consolidation (OAC) is an alliance between the nations of Africa, created with the help of the EC and the OCU, but subdivided into five regional states. After the African Conflict, the OAC becomes fully independent of EC and OCU influences.
    • The People's Republic of Da Han Zhong (DHZ) is the post-unification of China and Taiwan.
    • Gun Hazard manages it to make things more confusing, not always stating exactly where some of the missions take place country-wise. Bergen is in Norway, Cenktrich is in Switzerland, Esporte is in Brazil, Sivilska is in Russia, Vorkuta is former Russian territory now separated, Al-Hari is around Saudi Arabia and the others? Beats me..
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Roid/Lloyd/Royd's names in the original 1st, Fan Translation, and DS port, respectively.
  • Sphere of Destruction: The MIDAS in 3.
  • Stop, or I Will Shoot!: Variation. Natalie F. Blakewood in 1st threatens (if she's deployed) to shoot Royd when he prepares to engage Driscoll against orders. If she isn't deployed, then it is Olson threatening to execute the whole unit by firing squad.
  • Subsystem Damage: The individually breakable parts of wanzers, and certain other types of war machines in the games.
  • Super Prototype: Considering the entire series, there are a lot of them. But it is the enemies that get all the cool toys. However, you do get to unlock some of their stuffs too, via grinding through simulators or meeting special conditions in missions.
    • Mary-Jane Delschaft (Alternative) piloted the Belladonna Atropa, an experimental WAW armed with an assault rifle and capable of some flight through its verniers. Those verniers can also be used for extremely fast ground-based movement, which Mary-Jane uses with devastating effect when you fight her for the last time in the true ending.
    • Lynn Wenright gets the Gracilis in 5, the spiritual successor to the Belladonna Atropa. It packs a powerful sniper rifle and is designed for aerial combat, with its landing boosters and verniers. It is also exclusively designed for S-Type pilots. Sadly, Lynn is not a playable character when she's piloting it, and the wanzer's flight mode is only seen in a cutscene.
    • The original Raven unit from 1st and Online also has flight capabilities (its vernier add-ons and flying are only in Online), albeit it is limited. It's also the best wanzer you can get in 2089-II and 2. In 2089-II, you have the original prototype model, though you have to dive into the Survival Simulator in 2089-II at least six times to get the full set.
    • You also get to have a taste of the Alucard unit in 2089, when Dark Knight (Roy) is revealed to be secretly working for your side.
    • Remember that blue Zenith that Brainwashed and Crazy Glen uses to hand you and your team your asses and kills poor Randy with? It is one of the best wanzers that you can get in 5. The catch? You have be playing on Hard Mode and grind in the complete Survival Simulator at least four times to get the full set.
    • Style 7 in Dog Life & Dog Style pits an OCU special forces unit codenamed "Smile Dog" using prototype stealth wanzers codenamed ''Loki'' against an USN elite special force unit called the "Strike Eagles".
      • The Eagles possesses three prototype wanzers designed exclusively for BD Doll Eye. Each of them comes with a "Save the Queen" laser drone defense system. The strongest one, the aptly named "Queen of Madness", has destroyed entire OCU companies with its fuel-air rifle (makes explosions similar to a nuke's) that it's known as a feared One-Man Army.
      • It is later revealed that the Strike Eagles gets a fourth prototype wanzer - a new version of Queen of Madness that uses both Doll Eye and S-Type. It also has "Save the Queen" built-in onto its armor, making it nearly impossible to hit. Then you throw in the fact that S-Type units have crazy agility to begin with...
    • The Zephyr and Caballus from Evolved, considering they are prototype units equipped with the E.D.G.E. system. Adela Seawell's Frost is also built-in with it, but in her case, it has more to do with her wanzer being a Ace Custom build.
  • Surprisingly Good English: Seen via Freeze-Frame Bonus on the Strike Wyverns application form that Walter Feng fills up in 5.
  • The Syndicate: "The Society" led by Henry Sherwood from Gun Hazard. A cabal of powerful and influential Europeans dedicated towards bringing about a "New World Order", starting conflicts to weaken national governments and make them ripe for control. After bringing them to control, The Society would then bring about "peace" in the war-torn region. In the expanded universe media, it is revealed that the organization was formed by the architects of the "ATLAS" orbital elevator after countries involved with the project had abandoned it. Dismayed at how humanity chose to throw away an opporunity for real peace and progress, Henry vowed revenge against the very nations that once supported "ATLAS".
    • The Grimnir led by Dr. Morgan Bernard. Essentially the whole series' antagonists, this terrorist organization has enlisted support from everywhere under the flag of nationalism. Politicians, military brass, scientists, weapons developers... you name it, they've got it! Even many "good" and "bad" guys are on their side. For instance:
      • Royd Clive, Dr. Mizette Brown and Dr. Gilmore from 1st;
      • Ash Faruk, Ven Mackarge and Domingo Kyatt in 2;
      • The Vampires in 2089;
      • Glen Duval in 5...
      • They have got everyone too! Also the main instigators, directly or indirectly, of nearly every major conflict in the series from 2080 to 2112.
  • Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: Front Mission 3 and on introduced damage types, which weapons inflict and armor (settable by the player) protects from. The flow goes Piercing beats Impact, Impact beats Flame, Flame beats Piercing. There's also a fourth type used energy weapons that ignores defense modifiers.
  • Taking the Bullet: Walter Feng does this for Lynn Wenright during the first Cambodia arc of 5. Glen has disabled Lynn's wanzer with EMP and is about to fire; Walter shoves her out of the way and gets hit, and is injured badly.
    • Also played in Alternative with Dal Furphy when he jumps in front of Liebert Dwyer's machine gun fire to shield Earl McCoy; 2089 has Dragoon/Lancer when he rushes right in front of Rei Amamiya to shield her from Demon's charging attack; and 2 with Lira Labra when she runs to protect Ven Mackarge from missiles fired from a VTOL aircraft.
  • Taking You with Me: Survival Simulator enemies in 5 have a tendency to do this by shooting cargo boxes next to the player. The resulting explosion is often large enough to kill both units.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded by Dr. Morgan Bernard in 5.
    "Aren't you grateful to me? I could have shot you two or three times by now! Do continue talking after you die."
  • A Taste of Power: Variation. You can get some parts/weapons earlier than you could normally buy them. The Egret from Mission 3 in 1st is the most obvious. (Unfortunately, these parts are usually outclassed within a few short missions.)
    • Kazuki and Ryogo start off 3 testing out the Shunyo Mk. 111, a top-tier Gunner wanzer that you can't get until late game.
    • Just before the Cambodia arc in 5, Walter Feng participates in a joint counter terror op with the Barghest; players get a taste of the high-leveled parts and S-Type pilots awaiting them.
  • Team Mom: Natalie F. Blakewood is this to the Canyon Crows. Kind of.
  • Technical Pacifist: Gun Hazard's Dr. Akihito Sakata. Sure, his wanzer does not have any weapons mounted, but that doesn't stop him from blocking a boss's Wave Motion Gun using his Infinity Plus One Shield.
  • Technicolor Wanzers: You can paint your wanzers whatever color you want.
    • Can be taken to some ludicrous extremes in Evolved, where one may pick a pattern, a primary and secondary color, two colors of armor trim, and a decal on each part of your wanzer. Given the degree of customization, this can result in Rainbow Pimp Gear in no time flat.
  • Time Skip: Shows up in most of the games.
    • Six years pass from the end of Gun Hazard to its epilogue.
    • In Alternative, roughly four months pass whenever one of the story's chapters complete.
    • In the remake Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness, several months pass as the 2089 story ends and shifts into the 2089-II part of the game. There is also one final time skip that occurs in the epilogue, which occurs in 2093.
    • Happens a few times on both campaigns in 1st; what happens in the time skip of one campaign is explored in the other. When Royd Clive and Ryuji Sakata are excommunicated by the OCU GDF after the Larcus Incident, the OCU story jumps from 2090 to 2091. The USN story after the Larcus Incident covers the events that occur afterwards, up until it catches up to the OCU story. Later on, there is a time skip in the USN side which happens when Kevin Greenfield is arrested towards the final stages of the Second Huffman Conflict. The events that take place afterwards are explained in the OCU side, up until it catches up to the USN story a few months later.
    • In Emma's story in 3, there are two noticeable time skips towards the end. One happens right after the MIDAS vaporizes the Ocean City, when Kazuki and co. head to the USN assembly to expose the truth about the incident. The other one happens in the epilogue, which takes place a year after the story ends in 2113.
    • 5 covers 51 years worth of story. Most of the time skips happen right when other Front Mission titles are taking place. i.e., 2095 to 2097 (4 takes place in 2096), 2098 to 2109 (2 takes place in 2102), and so on.
  • Token Minority: Joynas Jeriaska (J.J.) from 1st is your token black guy, making him Keith's Black Best Friend. Porunga is an Australian Aboriginal. Gentz Weizer.... well, who knows?
    • Also, Hermes Sturges is the token black guy in the Durandal.
    • And Russell Hamilton in Evolved is also a token black guy. Yun Tae-Hwang is the Token Asian. Jed Gordon may count, as he's the crew's Token Australian.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Lynn Wenwright in 5's backstory. She went from being a shy bookworm to a Marine Corps Special Forces and Special Operations commanding officer. She's also an BD S-Type pilot.
  • Training Montage: Walter Feng goes through one in 5 during Strike Wyverns selection training.
  • Tranquil Fury: Interestingly, the hotheaded Kazuki pulls this at the end of Emma's campaign in 3. Right before the final battle, Lukav Minaev kills his father in front of him. After a few moments of enraged silence, he...
    Kazuki (without yelling like he normally would): ".......... NO MERCY."
  • Tsundere: Lynn Wenwright, Walter Feng's superior officer and Love Interests in 5. Her dere side is very rarely seen, however.
  • Twenty Minutes into the Future: Gun Hazard takes place around 2064 (although this game is not canon). The series storyline starts action in 2034 with about a century of backstory. Neither has progressed far enough for wanzers to completely displace conventional military force.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Glen's grenade-shaped lighter, which Walter holds onto for 22 years.
  • The Usurper: In 3, it is revealed that Jie Bo Lao, had issued secret orders to the Rapid Reaction Force to shoot down the private jet of Ming Huang Jiu who was the next in line to be the Chairman of China. Because of this, the creation of The People's Republic of Da Han Zhong was actually a plot concocted by Jie Bo Lao to gain power and control over the Nation as the first step to his plans of World Domination.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Gun Hazard has TWO; see the entry for details.
    • In 5, the final missions take place inside the reactor holding the original MIDAS in Alaska.
  • Video Game Remake: There're two of them for 1st. First, there's Front Mission 1st for PS1, which added the Nintendo Hard USN campaign and unlocked a couple of initially unusable Infinity Plus One Swords and marked the introduction of recurring characters Darril Traubel and Billy Renges (who would later be seen in 4). Then, Front Mission 1st DS (simply "Front Mission" for US release) is an enhanced port of the remake, featuring even more new recurring characters from the later games. Front Mission 2089: Border of Madness is also a remake of the-mobile phone-only Front Mission 2089. It fuses an abridged version of Front Mission 2089-II into the plot, and a bunch of added game mechanics that makes it play closer to 4 and 5.
  • Video Game Time: The story does not progress unless you make the decision to do so. This can become very ridiculous when you play a hundred arena and simulator battles and a second hasn't passed by without you.
  • Wanzer Of Choice: The Zenith wanzer (pictured above) is very popular among main protagonists. Royd Clive (1st), Ash Faruk (2), Kazuki Takemura (3), Elsa Eliane (4), Ernest J. Salinger ("Storm"; 2089), and Albert Masel ("Tornado"; 2089-II) all use some variants of it as default wanzers.
    • Glen Duval (5) even has a Zenith model custom-made for him. He is The Dragon, though.
    • The Frost and its variants are the Zenith for protagonists from the USN side. Darril Traubel (4) and Walter Feng (5) both use versions of the Frost as their starting machines.
    • Driscoll (1st) is basically the poster boy for the Sakata Type 11 (aka "Raven") wanzer.
    • In 3, the Imaginary Numbers sport wanzer models tailor-made for their innate superiority.
    • Rolf Wagner (4) is to the Gepard wanzer like Driscoll is to the Raven.
    • Anizka Ivanovna Aleksandrov (4) is widely remembered for doing Evil Laugh while routing USN forces in her Zhuk mobile weapon.
    • Since 4, the Vyzov wanzer seems to have become the icon of Zaftran forces.
    • 5 reveals that the Grimnir was behind the arm manufacturer "Intergehen" (2). As a result, the terrorist group and its proxies are often seen in the Schakal, a wanzer model the Intergehen specifically designed for S-Type users.
    • The Vampire (2089) favor the Alucard wanzer, which is made for the Puppet Soldier.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The majority of Gun Hazard's BFGs are this.
  • War Is Hell: One of the main points of the franchise.
    • Very much so in Dog Life & Dog Style. The first style, for example, involves journalist Kenichi Inuzuka completely willing to take pictures or videos in the wartorn Huffman Island, exposing a lot of dehumanising moments similar to Berserk.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The massive Mir Orlen mobile weapon in 1st cannot move, and can only target units directly adjacent to it.
  • We Cannot Go On Without You: Anybody can be repaired after getting shot down, except for the commander units in 2089, 1st and Alternative. i.e., Ernest J. Salinger (2089), Royd and Kevin (1st), Earl McCoy (Alternative).
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Driscoll in 1st.
  • Welcome to Corneria: One of these is a hint that Guri B. Olson's a lying bastard.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Arguably one of the key themes of the franchise.
    • Royce Felder, Genoce's sister from Gun Hazard, attempts to put an end to all the never-ending conflicts around the world by joining "The Society". As seen in the expanded universe, she was seduced (figuratively and literally) by "The Society", and its seemingly compassionate solutions (actually very violent) to bring about long-lasting peace to the world, by creating a "New World Order". It doesn't succeed, and it is not because of Albert and co.'s doing!
    • Dr. Morgan Bernard, who desires a return to a nationalist-minded world and seeks to destroy globalization, which he saw as the cause of many world problems. Since 2080 and for decades, he was very successful and took down the Republic of Zaftra (economically), OAC (regionally), and even the OCU is on the brink of destabilization. The USN and the EC are also targeted, but fare better due to their (mostly) functional and working governments. Morgan's death in 2112 is widely celebrated by all the world powers (although the OCU doesn't celebrate much, as it does destabilize for a few years after his death). It takes nine more years before the Grimnir are at last gone for good.
    • Cornelius Werner tries to paint himself as one of these in Evolved, but it is only an excuse for him to threaten to blow up the world with Vritra's laser cannon.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Averted. In 3, there are the downloadable Picaresque and Kaleidoscope software, whose functions are to reveal the hidden layers of picture files and magnify them with perfect quality.
    • Played straight in Evolved, though.
    • 4: The Zaftran conspiracy to destroy the resource base in Poland and start a war between the EC and UCS would've been busted a long time ago if someone had the brilliant idea to use Video Cameras to record footage of the "mysterious" attackers.
  • Wham Episode: Many. Far too many to list.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: All BD users that don't use B-Type devices suffer from this to some extent, though there are exceptions.
  • World Tour: In Gun Hazard, you'll get to travel to Bergen (Sweden), Vorkuta and Sivilska (Russia), Cenktrich (Switzerland), Al-Hari (Saudi Arabia), Zambola (Zambia), Machu Picchu (Peru), Esporte (Brazil) and the shop-only United States and Australia.
    • In Alternative, you'll travel to Algeria, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Morocco, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Zambia.
    • In 3, you'll travel to Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Taiwan, and China (Da Han Zhong).
    • In 4, the Durandal travels across the UK, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Zaftra (Russia), Ukraine, Portugal, and France.
    • In 5, Walter's story takes him all around the world - from Huffman Island to Kiribati, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Brazil, Peru, and Alaska.
  • Yasunori Mitsuda: Composed part of the music for Gun Hazard.
  • Yoko Shimomura: Composed part of the music for 1st.
  • Younger Than They Look: Ralph Dian in 1st is only 34.
    • By the final mission in 5, Walter and Lynn are well in their late 40s, but look 20 years younger for some unknown reasons. Subverted in the epilogue, where Walter is clearly an old man.
  • You Shall Not Pass:
    • In 1st's OCU campaign, General Willas E. Blakewood plays just this when the Canyon Crows are about to take off from Rupidis. See Four-Star Badass above.
    • Pierre Wells in 3, and he almost says exactly that.
    • Rook the Detonator tries it too in Gun Hazard. His words are almost those.
    • In the first Cambodia arc of 5, the Strike Wyverns are on a mission to recapture and defend an OCU border defense base against Cambodian insurgents, who overwhelm the OCU forces thanks to support from the Grimnir, by the Cambodia-Vietnam border. After defeating several waves of wanzers and a giant tank-helicopter hybrid (whose ridiculousness is lampshaded by Edward), Morgan and Glen show up, leading to Walter Taking the Bullet for Lynn.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Videogame/FrontMission